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Lakers' Patrick Beverley 'Super Excited' to Team Up with Russell Westbrook

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 6, 2022

Craig Hudson for The Washington Post via Getty Images

It turns out Patrick Beverley and Russell Westbrook have squashed their beef—or maybe they're just trying to trick us, man.

Beverley seemed to say all the right things at his Los Angeles Lakers introductory press conference Tuesday, telling reporters he's "super excited" to play alongside his longtime rival.

Westbrook was at Beverley's press conference, and the pair dapped each other up for the public to see as PatBev left the podium.

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha

Pat Beverley and Russell Westbrook greeting each other after Pat’s press conference <a href="https://t.co/p02AC9O1kh">pic.twitter.com/p02AC9O1kh</a>

The veteran guards had longstanding issues dating back to when a collision with Beverley caused Westbrook to tear his meniscus during the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs. While Beverley maintained he had no intention of injuring Westbrook, the two never patched things up and engaged in back-and-forths spanning nearly a decade.

The two had a similar incident in 2018 when Beverley dove and nearly took out Westbrook's knees. A year later, Westbrook went off on his now-infamous postgame diatribe ripping Beverley's defensive reputation.

“Pat Bev trick y’all, man, like he playing defense. He don’t guard nobody, man. He just running around, doing nothing," Westbrook told reporters in November 2019.

Beverley addressed those comments earlier this year in an appearance on Old Man and the Three, saying Westbrook "damaged" his career (h/t James Herbert of CBS Sports):

"After that, people were just taking the ball, just going at me. I'm like, what the f--k? All because of what one person said. .... He damaged my career. Like, coaching staffs and players, fans, they looked at me way different. They looked at me like, 'You know what? He don't play defense. He just yells and runs around.' And held onto that and held onto that. And some people still do."

The Lakers sent Talon Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz for Beverley last month, setting up a potentially awkward on-court dynamic. Westbrook remains very much in trade rumors, but the Lakers front office and coaching staff have maintained they believe Russ can have a bounce-back season.

New Lakers coach Darvin Ham said he thinks Westbrook and Beverley can even coexist on the floor.

"If they play defense. If they play defense. Definitely," Ham said.

The Lakers open training camp in mere weeks, so the roster will have to be sorted by then. For now, it appears we've reached a detente in one of the NBA's fiercest rivalries.

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